The Ultimate Guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know

Well hello to you my reader chums! Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples are one of the biggest tourist attractions in Cambodia, and for many reasons, as they're beautiful - and a once in a lifetime thing to see. Till this day, I'm still in awe of the Angkor Wat and how massive the entire Angkor Archaeological park actually was. Every temple had so much history to it and I feel privileged to have seen the ancient monuments.

The Ultimate guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know

When my boyfriend and I made out trip to the park, I was taken aback of how much I didn't know about it, how to get there, how massive it was and how pricey. If you're heading to Cambodia and going to visit these temples, here are some things you should know.

The Angkor Archaeological Park is huge

The main Angkor Wat is the prime temple everyone will go to visit as it's the first on the temple route, the largest and most renowned. However, if you want to see beyond the Angkor Wat and the plenty of other temples, be wary of how big it actually is. The temples are actually located miles apart - which I didn't realise on my trip. I assumed, they were all in walking distance and literally next to each other.

The Ultimate guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know

The Ultimate guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know

The best way to see everything is to do it across a few days, I'd recommend two as after that you'll be templed' out. As it's so big, you'll need to hire a tuk-tuk driver who will be able to take you to the ticket office (it's located out of the temples), and along the different routes. Usually, most tuk-tuk drivers will have a little insight into the temples as well and tell you where you're going and why each temple is important. You'll be amazed at how different each temple is, and how much beauty they hold. Angkor Wat is the biggest and most impressive but the others have a unique look and interest to them. My favourites were the Bayon, Ta Prohm, Ta Som, and Pre Rup. I think whilst you're there, you should make the most of seeing them all.

Visit in the morning time

Cambodia can get incredibly hot, especially around lunchtime and in the afternoon, that it's best to see the temples when they first open in the morning. The majority of temples open between 6-7am, and the Angkor Wat is open from 4.30/5am as a lot of people go and watch the sunrise there. Going in the morning really is heavenly as you'll miss out on the unbearable heat, and sometimes on the crowds too, depending on what route you do.

Watch the Angkor Wat at sunrise


The Ultimate guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know

Watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat was one of the most beautiful moments in Cambodia and makes the 4am rise completely worthwhile. I would highly recommend it to any visitor going. However, do be aware that every tourist will have the same idea as you and the temple will be packed really early in the morning. It's probably the one time I've seen so many people up and awake at 5am. That's the only downside to it, but once you see the sunrise, you'll forget about the bustling crowds.

It's an expensive excursion


The Ultimate guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know

I was pretty shocked about how much the whole experience cost us in total. For a three day pass, we paid $62 each. They offer packages for one day ($37), the three days and the seven days ($72) which must be used on consecutive days. Two days was the perfect amount of time to see the temples so I don't understand why there isn't a two-day option, as it would be incredibly popular. It's not just the tickets that are costly, you have to pay to get around the temples as they're so widespread. Both days we went it cost $15 each to hire a tuk-tuk. With that in mind, if you do want to experience it, set that money aside out of your budget or just go for the one day option. You can try and ram it all in one day but it will be tiring in the heat.

Cover up

Like with any temple, out of respect, you need to cover up. Not every single temple will tell you to cover your shoulders or knees but it's important to be aware and carry a cardigan with you. I wore a jumpsuit there which covered my knees and brought a cardigan so I could put it on when entering temples - and take it off when it wasn't necessary.

Drink lots of water

The Ultimate guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know

Visiting the temples can be a really long day out, as the heat, walking, and climbing can tire you out a lot. It's important in that situation to keep hydrated and fed as you trek around the different temples. Some temples will have shops nearby with food and drink you can buy. And if you're lucky like we were, your tuk-tuk driver may carry a tub of water bottles for you to drink at every stop.

Keep hold of that ticket

When you get issued a ticket for the temples, it will have your face on which you need to have with you at all times when entering new temples. Don't lose it otherwise you'll be paying a large sum to get a new one.

Hire a tuk-tuk driver instead of a tour operator

The Ultimate guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know
Unless you want to extend your spending, even more, going with a tuk-tuk driver is a far less cheap option than hiring a tour operator, and it's more authentic. Usually, tuk-tuk drivers will have a good knowledge of the temples anyway and it can just be you and whoever you're travelling with rather than a huge group of people. This means you can work on your time and with your agenda. It's also worth noting that a lot of tuk-tuk drivers will be keen to drive you around for multiple days so there will be no need to find someone new.

The Ultimate guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know

The Ultimate guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know


I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you visited Cambodia before?

Thank you for reading <3

24 hours in Vientiane, Laos - what to see and do

Well hello to you my reader chums! Laos is Thailand's quiet and less touristy neighbouring country that has so much to offer beyond the tourist sights. It has beautiful temples, friendly locals, cool markets, and generally, a whole relaxed vibe to explore. 

24 hours in Vientiane, Laos

Vientiane is Laos' national capital and sits at the south of the country. Despite it being the capital, it isn't as popular as you may think nor is there a lot to do whilst you're there. The city is quite big but it's probably one of the quietest I've visited, and it's one of those places you don't need to spend a lot of time - but I still wouldn't take it completely off the agenda. Vientiane is a lovely city with friendly folk and a few great sights you should see. If you're there for a day or two, here's how to spend 24 hours in the city.

Visit the Wat Si Saket 

24 hours in Vientiane, Laos

24 hours in Vientiane, Laos

24 hours in Vientiane, Laos

As the oldest Buddhist temple in the city, visiting the Wat Si Saket is a must on your stay. It's not the biggest temple in the world, however, it's incredibly interesting. You'll see a crazy amount of Buddhas as you walk around and it'll really give you an insight into the history of the Buddha religion. The detailing on the temple is gorgeous, as well as the colouring. And the massive doors always make a good Instagram shot so you can't go wrong really. The fee to get in is 10,000 kip which works out around £1 - which means you're seeing a beautiful and historic site for basically nothing.

Head over to the Patuxai and its gardens

As you travel through Laos, you'll notice a lot of French-inspired things from the food to monuments like the Patuxai. The inspired lifestyle is due to the French colonial period in the late 19th century - so don't be surprised if you find baguettes and croissants in every single bakery. This monument is incredibly similar to the Arc de Triomphe, if not, exactly the same. It even has the same circular road surrounding it and walk-through a path which is incredibly interesting.

24 hours in Vientiane, Laos

24 hours in Vientiane, Laos

The monument is around a 15-20 minute walk from the temple, and if the day is cooler, then it's easy to get to in no time. There is no entry fee unless you want to climb to the top to see the overall view of the city, which is very inexpensive. The monument is attached to a small amount of greenery/mini-gardens which is ideal to cool down and relax after a long walk.

Make the journey to Pha That Luang

The Pha That Luang is probably the main icon for Laos' capital and a gold vision of heaven. It's essentially a glorious gold temple with a few other mini temples and a large sleeping gold Buddha within the grounds. It's one of those places where you'll be in awe of the architecture and the sheer beauty really. As it's a temple grounds, it's also incredibly peaceful and quiet - and there weren't many tourists at all during our visit.

24 hours in Vientiane, Laos

24 hours in Vientiane, Laos

The temple is the other side of the city compared to the Patuxai and would take around 30 minutes to walk it from there. Or alternatively, you can get a tuk-tuk/taxi. Entry is around 5,000 kip which is literally pennies, and the experience is so worthwhile.

Dine at Namphou Park 

24 hours in Vientiane, Laos


If you're looking for a small hub of restaurants and bars for the evening then Namphou Park is a good shout. The centre features a pretty fountain and surrounding that are a selection of places to eat and drink - with the roads around it offering the same.

Go shopping

In Laos, the weather can get extremely hot that escaping to an air-conditioned shopping centre is honestly a dream! There are two main ones near the attractions, the Vientiane Center and Talat Sao Shopping Mall.

Browse the city 

Like any city, by taking a walk around you'll discover some hidden gems, cool restaurants and quaint little roads which sway away from the main centre. Having a browse will also give you a little insight into the flow of Laos city life - and probably fall in love with the vibe. You won't be able to get over how calm everything is.

Where to stay

The main sights in the city are easily accessible by foot, but if you do want to see them all, then try and stay in a central location which is easy to navigate. My boyfriend and I stayed in the S Park Design Hotel which was honestly incredible and I would highly recommend it. The staff was super lovely, and let us use the amenities after we'd checked out as we were waiting for our bus - and the hotel has the loveliest pool ( with a waiter dining service). Plus, the decor is really modern and has a strong car theme - and they have an epic bar/nightclub downstairs. 

S Park Design Hotel Laos

You really can't go wrong! If you want a bit of luxury for a one-night stay, it's perfect. Can you tell I really loved this hotel?

I hope you enjoyed this 24-hour guide! Have you visited Laos before?

Thank you for reading <3






Everything you need to know before visiting Dubai

Well hello to you my reader chums! Dubai, the city of skyscrapers, desert and beaches, is a place everyone should visit once in their lifetime. It's perfect for romance, a gals trip and suits families too. Dubai is a place where I've made some of the best memories and would happily return to again and again for a holiday. If it's your first time visiting, I've got a couple of tips to share with you.

Everything you need to know before visiting Dubai


Dubai is a huge city

I didn't realise how big Dubai would be until I arrived! You can't really walk anywhere unless you're in a certain area if that makes sense. For instance, if you're in the area of Jumeirah Beach, the attractions around there are reachable, but you couldn't walk to the Burj Khalifa or mall from there. The best way to get around is by metro or taxi. The metro is very simple to figure out, and attractions are usually in walking distance from the stops - and it's super cheap. Taxis are also relatively affordable, and because of how Dubai roads are designed (so many motorways), it'll generally take around 20 minutes to get everywhere.

Be wary where you stand on the tube

Something that did shock me in Dubai was that some underground tubes had a 'woman and child' carriage where of course only women and children can stand. If you're a man, be aware and make sure you're standing in the right place. Also, they have a gold ticket holder carriage, I suppose kind of like a first class area on an English train. Avoid standing in this carriage unless you have a gold ticket or you can be fined.

Book attractions in advance

Like every city destination, for bigger attractions, book your tickets in advance. The Burj Khalifa is always busy and there are constant queues that if you arrive without a ticket, you'll be lining up for a while. The same goes for the Burj Al Arab brunch. Friday brunch is a traditional thing in Dubai, and if you want to dine it in 7-star style, book it in advance to get a good spot.

Be mindful of values

As a Muslim country, there are certain rules that apply in Dubai that aren't the same as back in the UK. For example, not every hotel or restaurant will serve alcohol. You're likely to come across a few 'dry' hotels, however, don't be alarmed, a lot of places will still serve up yummy cocktails and have an alcohol license. If you're unsure where to go, ask at your hotel which places serve alcohol and which don't. Pork is something that is forbidden in Muslin culture so it's quite hard to find in Dubai and often won't be on the menu in most restaurants. Other meats such as chicken, beef and seafood etc will be accessible, however.

Also, it's important to dress modestly in public spaces. Although the fashion police won't be after you, it's best not to show too much skin and respect the local culture. It's also worth noting that inside malls are heavily air conditioned so a cardigan will come in handy.

The call to prayer

In Dubai, the call to prayer can be heard wherever you are in the city. All the mosques are wired up to public speakers and the call of prayer can be 5 times a day. Don't be alarmed if it wakes you up!

Dubai can get very hot

I visited Dubai in February so the temperature was perfect summer weather, warm enough to tan but not be overly hot. However, in the summer months, weather can be very humid and hot that if you're visiting at that time, bring a lot of sun cream! If the heat isn't for you, visit between November and March for the comfortable heat.

I hope you enjoyed this post. When are you planning to visit Dubai?

Thank you for reading <3 

Best day trips from Krabi Town, Thailand

Well hello to you my reader chums! Located on the west coast of Thailand, Krabi is renowned for its limestone cliffs and offshore islands. Krabi is quite a large place, and there are loads of different areas you can set up a base from Ao Nang to Krabi Town.

Best day trips from Krabi Town, Thailand

On my stay in Krabi, I booked the Chanchalay Guest House in Krabi Town. It was an ideal location, as it wasn't too far from the boat pier, and an easy place to go for day trips. Krabi Town itself is very quiet; there's only a handful of restaurants, bars, and tourists attractions. However, it's a quiet location to spend a few days and book yourself a series of fun day trips and excursions.

If you're based in Krabi Town for a few days, here are some exciting day trips to consider.

Railay Beach 

Probably one of the most beautiful beaches you'll ever see, Railay Beach was my favourite day trip from Krabi. I booked it at a local travel agent in Krabi for the second day of our stay and it was really easy to get a spot on the excursion. On the morning of the trip, we got picked up from our hotel and taken down to the boat dock. From there, the boat journey took around 40 minutes until we arrived at the beautiful beach.

Best day trips from Krabi Town, Thailand

Best day trips from Krabi Town, Thailand

Best day trips from Krabi Town, Thailand

I can see why Railay Beach was so hyped up because when we arrived it was a beautiful combination of super clear-waters and soft sands. The waters were ever so shallow and if not a bit rocky, but lovely to cool down in and swim as you walked into the deeper part. Railay Beach was huge and you could easily find a spot of tranquil to relax and deeper points of the ocean for a lovely swim. The island Railay Beach was very rocky and had plenty to explore. Around 15-20 minutes from Railay Beach, there was Phranang Beach. This beach was also stunning and had a great spot for cliff climbing. The waters here were much deeper, still clear and the sand was so soft. Probably the coolest thing on this beach was all the lined up boats serving up a selection of food and drink.

Krabi hot springs, Ron Waterfall and Emerald Pool

Another exciting trip to do is Ron Waterfall and Emerald Pool. Although this excursion was a little on the more pricy side, it was a lot of fun. Our excursion began really early with an 8am pick up (even though it was late). They took us straight to the waterfall and once we arrived it was beautiful. We got in at the bottom of the waterfall which was a long river and was surprisingly cold! It wasn't till we went next to the waterfall that we felt the beautiful warm water. On top of the waterfall, there were small pools which were like a warm bath. We were only allowed to stay in the pools for 15 minutes at a time as they got too hot!

Best day trips from Krabi Town, Thailand

Best day trips from Krabi Town, Thailand

Best day trips from Krabi Town, Thailand

Next, the bus driver drove us to the Emerald Pool which was around a 15-minute journey. On arrival, the pool was in a beautiful and forested area. We had to walk 15 minutes to reach the actual Emerald Pool through a lovely little forest. When we got there, I was amazed by the pool's beauty. It was like the name suggests, emerald in colour and super lovely to swim in. As it was a Saturday, it was pretty packed when we first arrived, but as the hour or so went on, people left and we got to swim in less busy waters.

Best day trips from Krabi Town, Thailand

Best day trips from Krabi Town, Thailand

Ao Nang Beach

If you want a quick trip to the beach then you can spend the day over at Ao Nang Beach. It's only around a 30-minute drive away from Krabi Town and has the most beautiful beach. Ao Nang is a resort town so it's a lot busier than Krabi Town and has plenty to do on your day there.

Koh Phi Phi tour

Best day trips from Krabi Town, Thailand

Phi Phi is renowned for its party scene and beautiful beaches, but if the nightlife isn't for you then a day trip is perfect. The island isn't actually as big as you think, and you could probably explore its best bits in a few hours. As there are no motorbikes or cars on the island, taking a stroll around the beaches, it's off-the-beaten-paths and restaurant scene is only accessible on foot. If you book a tour rather than just a ferry to the island, it'll take you to tourist spots such as Monkey Beach, Maya Beach, and Piley Bay.

Hong Island

Hong Island is very easy to reach from Krabi and can be booked via a day tour. The Hong Islands are part of a National Marine Park and its many islands, Koh Hong is uninhabited - making it perfect for nature life spotting. Hong Island has sandy beaches, striking cliffs and makes a lovely spot for a kayak excursion.

I hope you enjoyed this travel guide. Have you visited Krabi before?

Thank you for reading <3


GlassesShop's glasses review

Well hello to you reader chums! I've been a glasses wearer for over 8 years now and I always get excited at the prospect of new glasses. When GlassesShop got in touch with the opportunity to try one of their new frames, I couldn't turn it down. I'd been in the market for a new pair of glasses that this exciting email came at the right time.

Review: GlassesShop's glasses

After going through the whole ordering process and testing the glasses for a few weeks, I'm going to share my thoughts on the glasses.

Ordering process and delivery

After choosing which frames I wanted, the Durand Rectangle in purple, it was time to fill in all the information to order the specs. I had to give my prescription, the lens width, bridge width and temple length of my current glasses. I also had to say if I had a cylinder or not, and my PD value (the width of my two pupils between my eyes). It was an exceptionally easy process and once ordered, the glasses were predicted 7-15 days to arrive. They came well within that time period, I would say just over a week, and packed securely.


Review: GlassesShop's glasses

Frame design 

I didn't know what to think when my glasses first arrived, because as I was so used to my old glasses, it was really weird trying on a new pair (especially as you'd usually try them on in a shop first). The frames were longer and rounder compared to my other glasses, and at first, I wasn't too sure. However, after I wore them a few times and got used to them, I really liked how they looked on my face. I think the more rounded look suited my face shape better than my previous pair. I chose the purple shade as I wanted something a bit different to a standard pair, but was quite worried they'd be too bold. However, on arrival, I fell in love with the purple shade. It's not too obvious but still has that beautiful purple shade - and manages to still go with all my outfits. I'm in love with the frame design and overall look of the glasses.

The only downside about the glasses is how thin the arms are. They're a little on the flimsy side but at a cheaper price point, the quality is really good and they do the trick of a fancy pair of specs.

Review: GlassesShop's glasses

Overall thoughts

Overall, I'm absolutely obsessed with my new pair of specs, they really compliment my facial structure, are the perfect shape and colour. The glasses do the job that every good pair of specs do and they're easy to style. The GlassesShop was great with answering my questions and offer an incredible range of glasses, in all different shapes, sizes and price ranges.

If you want to treat yourself to some new, good-value glasses, check out the GlassesShop! You can get 50% off with the special code GSHOT50 or find the other special promotions for prescription glasses here.

*I was gifted these glasses as part of this collaboration.

I hope you enjoyed this review. Are you a glasses wearer?

Thank you for reading <3



2 month packing guide to South East Asia

Well hello to you my reader chums! If you're a regular reader then you'd know between February and April I jetted off to South East Asia for two months. It was the most incredible experience I've done to date and I loved every single second of it.

2 month packing guide to South East Asia

I went with my boyfriend and both of us decided the backpacker life was the way to do it. At first, I was worried I wouldn't be able to fit everything in my backpack or carry it, however, through the packing process and travelling, I learned quite a few things of what I needed and what I didn't. If you love your clothes like me and wanted to pack your entire a wardrobe, a little tip would be, don't! Here's my packing guide to South East Asia.

What to bring

Clothes

When it comes to clothes, less really is more. As you backpack through South East Asia, you'll find as it's so hot, you won't want to be lugging a heavy bag, nor will you need half the clothes in there. I packed way too many tops and trousers on my trip as I wanted loads to different outfits to wear, but it just took up room in my bag and made it a lot heavier. Here's a rundown of what to bring:

  • 3 T-shirts
  • 3 Tank/vest tops
  • 2 Pairs of shorts
  • 1-2 Pairs loose trousers (you can buy more at any market).
  • A couple of dresses/skirts for days when you want to dress up a bit.
  • 1 Light cardigan
  • 1 Light jumper
  • 1 Fold up raincoat (you never know).
  • 2-3 Bikinis 
  • Light fabric scarf (to cover up in temples).
  • Underwear and socks - I'd bring a few weeks worth so you can get the grips with a place before you do laundry.
  • 1 Pyjamas
  • 1 Sunglasses
  • 1 Sunhat

Shoes 

With shoes, it all depends on what you're going to be doing on your trip, whether that's a lot of walking or island hopping. I'd suggest bringing the following:

  • 1 Pair of trainers/walking shoes
  • 1 Pair of flat shoes such as sandals
  • 1 Pair of flip flops for beaches or hostel use

Toiletries 

Toiletries are something we all panic about when packing and always bring more than we need, however, it's not necessary. The only thing I would advise you really should pack lots of is suncream as it's so expensive to buy in Asia! Here's everything you'll need:

  • A couple of bottles of suncream and aftersun.
  • Shampoo and conditioner bars - they weigh hardly nothing and last forever.
  • Shower gel with a luffa sponge to make it last longer.
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Makeup - I would suggest bringing minimal makeup as you really won't wear much in the hot weather. Most days, I put on BB cream, a bit of bronzer, my brows, and mascara.
  • Makeup wipes or a Magnitone wipeout cloth - which is a very handy investment and super eco-friendly item too.
  • Moisturiser - the sun will really dry out your skin.
  • SPF lip balm - you need to protect your lips too.
  • Roll on deodorant - lasts longer than spray on.
  • Twist & Spritz Atomiser or roller ball perfumes.
  • Tangle Teezer
  • Hand sanitizer and wet wipes - you'll need these for public toilets.
  • Contact lenses and solution.

Electricals 

We can't go anywhere without electricals as we're all phone obsessed, and here is everything you should bring:

  • Plug adapter
  • Extension lead - to save bringing extra plug adapters.
  • Portable phone charger
  • Spare USB cable
  • Headphones

Handy items

Before I went travelling, there were a few items I purchased that were literally a godsend when my boyfriend and I were away:

  • Chillys Bottle - a literal lifesaver at keeping water cold in 40-degree heat.
  • Packing cubes - a complete essential that makes packing a million times easier. Don't go backpacking without them!
  • Razors 
  • Brow shaper tool - to keep your brows in shape.
  • Microfibre travel towel - easily compactable and handy for beaches/hostels.
  • Notebook - to note down the travels.
  • Padlocks - to keep your belongings safe.
  • Tote bags - versatile and perfect for the beach, shopping or an everyday bag.
  • Insect repellent wrist bands - stock up on these.
Essentials

Other than clothes, electricals, and toiletries, there are a few essential items you want to make sure you bring:
  • Passport
  • Cash for all different currencies
  • Visas for the different countries
  • Boarding passes
  • ID
  • Itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • Small backpack

Ultimately, when it comes to packing your backpack, only bring the essentials and a few luxuries here and there. You can always buy things like extra clothes and toiletries whilst you're travelling that there's no point filling your backpack to the max. You'll also want room for any souvenirs you buy along the way on your trip.

I hope you enjoyed this 2-month packing guide. When are you going to Asia next?

Thank you for reading <3